Omid Ghorbanzadeh, Alessandro Crivellari, Pedram Ghamisi, Hejar Shahabi, and Thomas Blaschke

Illustration of the architecture

A typical convolutional network block in a U-Net (a) and a residual block with an identity mapping (b).

Earthquakes and heavy rainfalls are the two leading causes of landslides around the world. Since they often occur across large areas, landslide detection requires rapid and reliable automatic detection approaches. Currently, deep learning (DL) approaches, especially different convolutional neural network and fully convolutional network (FCN) algorithms, are reliably achieving cutting-edge accuracies in automatic landslide detection. However, these successful applications of various DL approaches have thus far been based on very high resolution satellite images (e.g., GeoEye and WorldView), making it easier to achieve such high detection performances. In this study, we use freely available Sentinel-2 data and ALOS digital elevation model to investigate the application of two well-known FCN algorithms, namely the U-Net and residual U-Net (or so-called ResU-Net), for landslide detection. To our knowledge, this is the first application of FCN for landslide detection only from freely available data. We adapt the algorithms to the specific aim of landslide detection, then train and test with data from three different case study areas located in Western Taitung County (Taiwan), Shuzheng Valley (China), and Eastern Iburi (Japan). We characterize three different window size sample patches to train the algorithms. Our results also contain a comprehensive transferability assessment achieved through different training and testing scenarios in the three case studies. The highest f1-score value of 73.32% was obtained by ResU-Net, trained with a dataset from Japan, and tested on China’s holdout testing area using the sample patch size of 64 × 64 pixels.

Scientific Reports, 11, 14629, 2021-07-16.

View paper
IARAI Authors
Dr. Pedram Ghamisi
Earth Observation
Convolutional Neural Networks, Deep Learning, Landslide Detection


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